You’re going to want to watch Ruthie Foster’s version of “Joy On The Other Side”,\ all the way through to the end where (starting at about 3:57) she takes it out of the realm of “nice cover of an old-timey gospel song” and into the realm of “the fire of the Holy Spirit is among us right now“.
The video’s from the 1970s, but Moe Koffman’s “Swingin’ Shepherd Blues” is straight out of the 1950s cool jazz world. A light, playful, bouncy song for another unseasonably gorgeous and comfortable day in this little corner of the world.
Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” is a bracingly bitter blast at the television news/entertainment industry. Though it’s not apparent from the lyrics, part of the song’s inspiration comes from Henley’s anger at intrusive coverage of his own life in the wake of the breakup of The Eagles.
(The dedication to Rupert Murdoch in this video from The Eagles’ “farewell” tour is a particularly nice touch.)
One reason John Lennon is missed is his great, earthy sense of humor. “The Ballad Of John And Yoko” is as good a takedown of what has morphed into the “entertainment media” as their is in rock music over the last five decades, but it’s also brimming over with wit and ease:
The men from the press said, “We wish you success,
It’s good to have the both of you back”.
Christ you know it ain’t easy….
It’s not just the lyrics; it’s also the way Lennon delivers them and the musical embellishments he and McCartney (Ringo and George weren’t around for this one) toss in. It’s one thing for musicians to respond to their critics. It’s another to turn that response into a #1 song. (As it turned out, the last one released by The Beatles).